Saturday, July 26, 2014

Old blog, new tricks (English - Italian)

My youngest puppy inspiring
me not to ditch my blog, but to
simply teach it some new tricks
The other night my blog cheated death. It was in a deep coma and I was just about to put it out of its misery. But in the end I didn’t have the guts to do it.

L’altra sera il mio blog è scampato alla morte. Era in coma profondo e stavo per dargli il colpo di grazia. Ma infine non ne ho avuto il coraggio.

But for me it’s not enough that I spared its life. I want to give my blog new life, or at least clear out the dust, spruce it up, in addition to giving it a new look. In order to do this, I asked myself, “Why blog at all?” To rant about the difficulties of getting my manuscript on Naples published? To torment you with the 27th version of my query letter? To inflict upon you the nuances of certain linguistic expressions, while there are much more serious things happening in the world – wars, epidemics, premature wrinkles?

Però non mi basta avergli risparmiato la vita. Voglio dare al mio blog un nuovo impeto, o almeno una spolverata, una rinfrescata, oltre ad un nuovo look. Per fare ciò, mi sono chiesta perchè mai scrivere un blog? Per delirare sulle difficoltà di pubblicare il mio manoscritto su Napoli? Per tormentarvi con la 27esima versione della mia lettera di richiesta da inviare agli agenti letterari? Per infliggervi con le sfumature di particolari espressioni linguistiche mentre nel mondo succedono cose ben più serie – guerre, epidemie, rughe premature?

Yes, but that’s not all.

Anche, ma non solo.

I’ve realized that my blog needs to also give my readers something – something of mine, something personal, something that you’ll truly enjoy. I’m not talking about photos of myself lying on the beach in a bikini because, after two babies, I think that would be just making you suffer even more.

Mi sono resa conto che il mio blog deve pure regalare qualcosa a voi lettori – qualcosa di mio, di personale, e che possa portarvi vero piacere. Non parlo di foto di me in bikini sdraiata sulla spiaggia, perché dopo due gravidanze, mi sembra soltanto un’ulteriore sofferenza per mano mia.

            No, what I’m talking about is writing not only one Italian post a month, but writing one a week. In other words, from now on, all my blog posts will be written not only in English but in Italian. A truly bilingual blog. It will be my tiny little gift to those who are studying Italian, to any Italians who want to improve their English, to those who practice the art of translation, and not least to those among my loved ones in Italy who would like to follow this writer’s journey without every time having to opening that clunky dictionary (yes, we’re old school)…

No, parlo invece di scrivere non solo un’articolo in italiano al mese ma di scriverne uno alla settimana. Cioè, da ora in poi tutti i miei articoli di blog saranno scritti non solo in inglese ma anche in italiano. Un blog veramente bilingue. Sarà un mio piccolissimo regalo a chi studia l’italiano, a chi in Italia vuole migliorare l’inglese, a chi si esercita nell’arte della traduzione, e non ultimo a chi tra i miei cari in Italia vorrebbe seguire il mio percorso da scrittrice senza dover ogni volta aprire il mattone del dizionario (e già, siamo di vecchio stampo noi)…

            I can’t help myself from always wanting to teach something. After all, I’m an English teacher, and I have a degree in languages from the Oriental Institute of Naples!

Sarà pure un difetto professionale, quello di voler per forza insegnare. Dopo tutto, sono insegnante d’inglese, e sono laureata in lingue all’Orientale di Napoli!

            However, this does not in any way make me an expert in both languages. On the contrary. You’ll see every week that my English, my native language, will be undoubtedly sparkling, and up to the minute. But as for my Italian…well, as an old friend of mine from Avellino used to say, “I can’t guarantee quality, only freshness.”

Però ciò non fa assolutamente di me un’esperta nelle due lingue. Anzi. Vedrete che ogni settimana il mio inglese, da madrelingua americana, sarà senz’altro sfavillante, attuale. Ma per quanto riguarda il mio italiano…beh’, come diceva un tempo un mio amico di Avellino, “Non garantisco la qualità, solo la freschezza.”

            Therefore, your comments, as well as your potential corrections, will be greatly appreciated. Till next week!
           Perciò saranno apprezzatissimi non solo i vostri commenti ma anche le vostre eventuali correzioni. Alla settimana prossima!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Selfie without make-up

No make-up but the baby brings out my eyes
Apparently if you don't post anything on your blog for a while, they shut it down. For the last week, I was absolutely sure my blog had become extinct. I was already preparing a funeral, and working on the title and layout of my new replacement blog (on the rebound?). But now that I've dug up the courage to check online, I am genuinely relieved to find that Confessions of a Wannabe Writer has not mirrored the fate of the dodo.

To celebrate its existence, tonight I'm doing three revolutionary things.

One, I'm writing a blog post, the first in six months. Despite realizing that probably no one out there is going to read it, that I've justly lost any faithful readership I might have had (and you know who you are, Mom). I might just be writing for myself tonight, in true confession style.

Two, and this is the big one: I'm not writing this on a separate Word document over the course of two hours, pondering over whether to use a colon or a semicolon and finding themes and subthemes that run through the blog post and neatly converge at its climatic, hilarious end. I'm not going to edit and redit. I'm going to stick to my recent promise to practice brevity, economy. I'm simply writing, typing as I think. This blog post will be a selfie without make-up. Ha, and I've just spontaneously changed the title of this post (and thus the entire topic!) to reflect just how spontaneous and go-with-the-flow I can be. Woohoo! After this I might just run around the house in my underwear, because that's what spontaneous, hip, revolutionary thinkers do. As well as use words like 'selfie' instead of 'self-portrait.'

Three, I'm not going to pee until I finish writing.

Ok, so now I've written myself into a corner. What is the topic of this post anyway? I'm writing to save my blog, to save my writing. I'm writing to say hello to you, if you're out there. I'm writing to say that, despite my pressing bladder, I'm bursting with words and with things I'd love to tell you. About all the writing I've been doing (always at night, once the kids are in bed), and all the white tea with goji berries that I've been drinking in order to do it. About all the copyediting I've been getting paid to do, about how I might just be able to make a career out of this writing/editing thing. About the book I'm reading, in Italian, and about all the beautiful little gems of phrases I've found in it.

There's so much I'd like to share, so much to catch up on. But it will have to wait. Because this is the first blog post in six months and you have every reason to distrust any promise of regularity. Because I promised to be brief. And because I badly need to pee.

Till next week.